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Alabama 469 articles

Whistleblower case against guardrail manufacturer to be re-tried this week

osha whistle

A whistleblower who claims a leading guardrail manufacturer secretly changed the design of its guardrail systems, making them extremely dangerous and in some cases deadly, will have his case heard again this week after the first trial ended in a mistrial. Joshua Harmon, a safety advocate from Virginia, is suing Trinity Industries Inc. under the qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act, which allow private individuals to sue on behalf of the U.S. government. Mr. Harmon alleges that Trinity secretly changed the design of its widely used ET guardrail system to save money, shortening the end terminals. But ... Read More

Alabama whistleblower’s retaliation lawsuit can move forward, appeals court rules

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An Alabama whistleblower undergoing a protracted fight to get his job at Central Alabama Community College (CACC) back won his case this week in a federal appeals court. Edward Lane, the former director of CACC’s Community Intensive Training for Youth (CITY) program, was fired in 2009, allegedly for exposing an Alabama state representative’s presence on the program’s payroll despite doing no work for it. Mr. Lane eventually terminated the supposed employment of state Representative Susan Schmitz from the CITY program, which received federal funds for its operation. Federal authorities indicted Ms. Schmitz on charges of mail fraud and theft from a program ... Read More

Alabama getting $93.8 million for BP oil spill recovery and restoration projects

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Alabama is set to receive $93.8 million in oil spill money for coastal restoration projects in the third and largest installment to come from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, which was established to help the U.S. Gulf coast recover from BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees made the announcement on Friday that Alabama and the four other Gulf Coast states would soon be receiving their share of $1 billion in funds BP provided as a down payment in April 2011. Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas will share $627 million in ... Read More

Cleanup workers sickened by BP oil spill face legal limbo with medical claims

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Cleanup workers and coastal residents who were exposed to crude oil and chemical dispersants from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill may be forced into the same kind of protracted litigation that prevented Exxon Valdez cleanup workers from getting medical assistance and relief from doctor’s bills. Some 20,000 Gulf coast residents and cleanup workers, many of them suffering from chronic health problems that manifested several months after their exposure to the oil and other contaminants, are part of a medical damages settlement class, but find themselves in a legal limbo thanks to, as WWL-TV reported, “a disputed reading of one phase ... Read More

Montgomery, Ala., whistleblower files second retaliation lawsuit against Infosys  

osha whistle

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A Montgomery, Ala., man who sued his Bangalore, India-based employer, Infosys, in 2011, alleging he suffered through harassment, isolation, abuse, and even death threats after he blew the whistle on the company’s fraudulent visa practices, has filed a new wrongful termination lawsuit seeking compensation and reinstatement to his job. Jack Palmer, a former software project manager for Infosys, filed his first lawsuit against the company in 2011. In that suit, Mr. Palmer claimed that he suffered harassment and other forms of harsh backlash after he complained of the company’s visa practices through the proper internal channels. Specifically, ... Read More

First deaths linked to enterovirus; five children infected in Alabama

Enterovirus - CDC

At least four people have died after contracting enterovirus 68, a severe respiratory illness that has spread to more than 40 states, sickened at least 472 people and caused neurological symptoms in dozens. The illness is most dangerous to children, especially those with asthma. Enterovirus 68 typically resembles the common cold with symptoms such as fever, sneezing, running nose and coughing. A handful of patients have reported polio-like symptoms with muscle weakness in the arms, shoulders, hips and facial muscles. Doctors do not yet know whether the paralysis is permanent. The first cases of enterovirus 68 were seen in August ... Read More

Judge strikes down BP’s efforts to recoup money paid on oil spill claims

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A federal judge in New Orleans overseeing the BP oil spill litigation said that the company will not be permitted to take back hundreds of millions of dollars it paid out to victims harmed by the massive 2010 Gulf oil spill. BP had sought to recoup payments it considered excessive from some oil spill claimants. Those payments were calculated under the accounting methods established by the 2012 settlement agreement, before Judge Carl Barbier ordered the claims administrator’s office last year to implement new accounting procedures BP considered fairer. However, Judge Barbier found in a hearing last week that the payments ... Read More

Foster Farms recalls cooked chicken for risk of listeria contamination

chickens

Foster Farms is recalling nearly 40,000 pounds of frozen, pre-cooked chicken because the products may be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that can cause listeriosis, a foodborne illness that can cause symptoms such as diarrhea and can be fatal to some individuals. The recall involves frozen Chicken Breast Grilled Strips produced at the Foster Farms plant in Farmerville, La., on August 5 with a Best by date of 08-05-15. The chicken is packaged in 3.5-pound plastic re-sealable bags that are marked with the establishment number P-33901. The affected products were shipped to retail warehouses and Costco stores in California, Washington, ... Read More

Nicotine poisoning surges in Alabama as many turn to e-cigarettes

e-cigarette

The Alabama Poison Control Center is seeing a surge of nicotine poisoning cases stemming from electronic cigarette usage, which has grown in popularity in the last few years as a reportedly safer alternative to real cigarettes. Most of the Alabamians being poisoned from e-cigarettes aren’t actually the e-smokers themselves, but children who are exposed to the nicotine-laden e-fluid that goes into the devices. Liquid nicotine is available in a range of sweet, candy-like flavors and the packaging is sometimes alluring to children. The Alabama Poison Control Center told WAFF Huntsville that it saw a total of 23 nicotine poisoning cases between ... Read More

National Child Passenger Safety Week highlights importance of proper installation, use of car seats

child safety seat

Despite the fact that all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and our territories have laws requiring the use of safety seats, booster seats and seat belts for children traveling in motor vehicles, many families in our country travel either without a child safety seat or are not using the seats properly. The misuse of child safety seats in automobiles drastically increases the risk for injury and death of a child during a crash. Thousands of children are tragically injured or killed in automobile crashes each year, making car accidents the leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 ... Read More